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Morning Brew: Norm Kelly accepts Ford's apology, legal experts weigh in, the mayor's approval rating climbs, car crash topples statue, and the City Hall xmas tree arrives

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he accepts Rob Ford's radio apology and believes "there will always be eyes with him" as a result. Ford apologized for being drunk on St. Patrick's Day 2012 and Taste of the Danforth this year but did not directly address drugs, saying only that he had "made mistakes." Kelly says the driver Ford promised to hire should be vetted by council and be made to keep an eye on him.

There are numerous legal questions surrounding Rob Ford's situation and a team of lawyers has weighed in over at the Globe and Mail. Paul Copeland says Ford's decision to call for the video to be released "creates an impression [he] has nothing to hide" while Frank Addario says the mayor could speak to the allegations if he wanted to, contrary to the "before the courts" excuse.

Despite being plagued by scandal over his alleged appearance in a drug video, the release of police surveillance photos documenting exchanges with a drug dealer, and countless other controversies, Rob Ford's approval rating is on the rise. A Forum Research poll put the mayor's approval rating at 44%, a 5% increase, on Sunday before the conclusion of his radio show.

Sandro Lisi was familiar to many of Rob Ford's staffers, including front desk operator Tom Beyer, court documents show. Beyer campaigned for Ford in 2010 and was in charge of the mayor's official Twitter account for a brief period, reports the Star. Beyer spoke with Lisi dozens of times, once in person but mostly via phone and text, and was "shocked" to hear allegations he was a drug dealer.

A statue of Sir Oliver Mowat Robert Raikes, founder of the Sunday school movement, was knocked off its plinth this weekend by a driver who lost control of an SUV on Queen's Park Crescent. The incident happened at 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The driver wasn't injured.

And finally, it's almost Christmas at City Hall. Toronto's traditional giant white spruce has arrived in Nathan Phillips Square ready for decorating in the next few weeks. The tree is 57-feet tall and came from a field north of Bancroft, Ont. It will be illuminated for the first time at the Cavalcade of Lights on Nov. 30.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: George Welcher/blogTO Flickr pool.

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